There are a lot of moving pieces that go into a fat loss plan. These 50 training, nutrition, and supplementation tips show you how to do it.
1. Train using the most “bang for your buck” multi-joint lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, chin-ups, and Olympic lifts.
2. Favor compound lifts over isolation, single-joint lifts such as bicep or leg curls unless you have unlimited training time.
3. Use very short rest periods(10 to 60 seconds) to trigger the greatest metabolic disturbance with a high lactate and growth hormone response.
4. Always count tempo. Vary the tempo of lifting phases and rest periods to provide new stimulus for the body to adapt.
5. To get lean fast, use a hypertrophy-type protocol with high volume, more than 3 sets, and 70 to 85 percent 1RM load.
6. Use a longer time under tension to burn more energy and increase post-exercise oxygen consumption—try a 4-second eccentric and 1-second concentric phase.
7. Train to create a robust hormone response. Increasing growth hormone is the priority because of its significant lipolytic (fat burning) effects.
8. Perform circuit training using upper/lower body or agonist/antagonist paired sets. Use moderately heavy loads with little rest between sets for maximal metabolic disturbance.
9. For gradual fat loss over a longer period, include strength cycles with heavier loads (up to 95 percent 1RM), slightly longer rest (2 to 3 minutes), and lots of sets.
10. Work harder. The ability to push oneself physically is a skill. If you’re not getting results, you may not be working hard enough.
11. Don’t train. If you’re well trained, fairly lean already, and have been pushing your limits of volume and intensity, take a week off.
12. Give priority to training the anaerobic energy system over the aerobic system when strength training and conditioning.
13. Do high-intensity sprint intervals for conditioning. Two examples are 60 cycle sprints of 8 seconds each, 12 seconds rest; or 6 all-out 30-second running sprints on a track, with 2 to 4 minutes rest.
14. Be as active as possible in daily life. Move more: Take brisk walks during the day, take the stairs, and include “active transportation” in which you walk, run, or cycle to go places you’d normally drive.
15. Do relaxing physical activity instead of sitting in front of a screen: yoga, stretching, foam rolling, martial arts, or walking mediation.
16. Sitting is considered the new smoking. If you have a desk job, get a standing or treadmill desk.
17. Do a different type of conditioning: Modified strongman training with sled training, tire flips, log press, and farmer’s walk will elicit fat burning and increase your force output for greater strength.
18. Eliminate all added sugar from your diet. It’s way more trouble than it’s worth if you want to lose fat.
19. Eliminate all trans-fats from your diet such as margarine and shortening—they MUST be removed from the diet.
20. Eliminate all processed foods from your diet—don’t eat them ever.
21. Don’t avoid fat. Research shows that people with diets with 30 to 50 percent coming from smart fats have higher androgens and lower body fat.
22. Eat healthy fat, favoring animal fats that come from fish, pastured animals, and plants that have a low omega-6 content such as avocado, olive, and coconut.
23. Balance your omega-3 to omega-6 fat intake. Eat fish and pastured meat but limit omega-6 fats by avoiding vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola, and peanut, etc.).
24. Eat a diet with high-quality protein—organic meat, eggs, and wild fish will provide the largest nutrient and protein content per calorie.
25. If you find you’re often hungry while restricting calories, stop restricting calories and eat more. Focus on high-protein, lower carb foods that contain healthy fats to promote satisfaction and fullness.
26. Eliminate wheat and avoid grains in favor of plants.
27. Raise resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories the body burns at rest) by eating a higher protein diet with 15 to 35 percent of the diet coming from high-quality protein.
28. Manage your blood sugar by lowering the glycemic load (GL) of high glycemic foods by combining foods. Flavor foods with butter, olive oil, vinegar, lemon, lime, or pair ‘em with pickled foods.
29. Eat an antioxidant-rich diet to reduce inflammation, which can inhibit fat loss. Try kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, berries, pomegranates, and cherries.
30. Non-green veggies that may help you lose fat are colored peppers, eggplant, garlic, onions, mushrooms, hearts of palm, spaghetti squash, and water chestnuts.
31. Drink a lot of water (at least 3 liters a day) to stay hydrated and help detox the body.
32. Avoid alcohol, juice, soda, and sports drinks. Stick to water, tea, and coffee.
33. For a radical approach, eliminate all alcohol. If alcohol can’t be eliminated, Sardinian and Spanish red wines are the least worst option.
34. Get metabolically flexible so that your body is adapted to use fat for energy along with glucose. Do interval training and increase the proportion of your diet from fat and protein, which limiting carb intake.
35. Try acupuncture—studies have shown it can aid in treating obesity.
36. Make sure your vitamin D level is over 40 ng/ml. If it’s not, take vitamin D or get daily full-body sun exposure.
37. Eat probiotic foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kim chi, and miso to improve gut health.
38. Make sure your magnesium level is up to par. Magnesium supports insulin health, muscle strength, and sleep. Scientists suggest 500 mg of magnesium a day.
39. Assess your zinc status because it is critical for metabolism and fat loss. Take zinc, but carefully monitor your level because it can be toxic.
40. Don’t buy cheap, poor quality supplements because they will do more harm than good if they are tainted with heavy metals or pollutants.
41. Take a B-vitamin complex. The Bs are involved in protein metabolism, the use of muscle glycogen, and the elimination of excess hormones such as estrogen that limit fat loss.
42. Drink coffee or take caffeine before workouts to increase fat burning and work capacity—research shows we will self-select heavier loads if we take caffeine before training.
43. Supplement with nutrients that are depleted by drug therapies: Contraceptives deplete magnesium (increasing insulin resistance) and tyrosine (reducing thyroid hormone), impeding fat loss.
44. Take carnitine to help the body use fat for fuel and increase time to exhaustion when training hard.
45. Take the amino acid taurine because it lowers the stress hormone cortisol and helps the body digest fat.
46. Optimize your meal frequency based on your age, gender, and lifestyle. Young men tend to lose more fat with fasting, while young women tend to lose fat with frequent meals and steady blood sugar.
47. Make it a priority to get enough sleep. An early-to-bed, early-to-rise sleep pattern has been shown to improve body composition.
48. Fix your gut. Low stomach acid, chronic inflammation in the gut, or bad bacteria all inhibit fat loss. Troubleshoot gut health by eliminating food intolerances, getting probiotics, and optimizing fiber intake.
49. Reduce your stress. It’s possible stress is the primary factor inhibiting your fat loss. It throws metabolic hormones out of whack, alters sleep, and triggers sugar cravings. Try meditation or psychological therapy.
50. Know that you have complete control over what you put in your mouth. No one ever ate anything by accident.